In a statement on Saturday, Eskom confirmed it had accepted the resignation of Mark Lamberti from the board following a high court judgment that found he had made a prejudiced racial remark.
Lamberti has faced public outcry after he was taken to court by a complainant, Adile Chowan, who was offended that Lamberti had called her an affirmative action candidate since she was a black woman.
“This decision is motivated by my fiduciary duty to Eskom and my consistent and proven record of acting insofar as possible in the best interests of South Africa,” Mr Lamberti stated in his resignation letter.
He cited the High Court judgment of 23 March in the matter of J Chowan v Associated Motor Holdings (Pty) Ltd and Others, as the reason for his resignation. In representations to the Eskom board, Mr Lamberti maintained that “while mistakes were made and there are important lessons to be learnt, there were no findings in the judgment of race or gender discrimination against AMH (Associated Motor Holdings), Imperial or myself.
“Despite this, there has been a mainstream and social media frenzy of generally inaccurate commentary. This is being fuelled by a political agenda and legally incorrect interpretations of the judgment, which have culminated inter alia in the most vitriolic defamation of my person. The most telling aspect of this is the call for the Minister and indeed the President to remove me from the Eskom board,” the letter stated.
Through spokesperson Adrian Lackay, Eskom said Lamberti should be “commended for taking the difficult decision to put the interests of Eskom, the board and the country above all else”.
“Mr Lamberti has stated that he cannot, in good conscience, accept any compensation from Eskom and will return the fees paid to him as most of the Eskom board’s work to date has been preparatory,” added Lackay.